Jinks optimistic about upcoming football season

Zane Miller and Zane Miller

The Falcons football team will look to improve on their 3-5 Mid-American Conference record and 4-8 overall record going into this season, as the team will take advantage of last season’s experience to begin this season with a stronger foundation.

“I think the experience is going to help a ton,” Falcons Head Coach Mike Jinks said. “We’ve got an abundance of leaders who have had the bad end of that and don’t want to feel that way again, so they’ve been working their tails off, and I’m excited to see them perform this year.”

The team also will look to build upon their team culture that they began to establish last season and will take it forward going into this year.

“Towards the end of the year we really started to try to develop a culture of being a tough, physical football team, I think they bought into that and they carried it into their spring training,” Jinks said.

The team is also looking to cut down on its penalties from last season, as they had 70 penalties for 696 yards last season.

“Really the self-inflicted mistakes, turnovers on offense and pre-snap penalties on defense were a problem,” Jinks said. “If we can eliminate some of those things and cut them in half, we’ve got a really good chance of flipping our record from last year.”

With a young team, inexperience was a major contributing factor to the high amount of penalties.

“We just had a lack of focus and really not having a good grasp of our schemes offensively and defensively,” Jinks said. “I think our kids were thinking too much and weren’t able to utilize their abilities to the best of their potential.”

Jinks said having the quarterback throughout the season will add an important aspect of consistency to begin the season. James Morgan will likely start the season as quarterback. He took over the starting job three games into last season.

“I think that the reps that James got in last season as a freshman last year is going to be huge,” Jinks said. “The reps that you get in a game, you can’t get in practice, so I’m just excited for him.”

Despite all the changes from last year, the overall season goal for the team will remain simple.

“To start the season, the first thing we want to do is have a winning record in the conference,” Jinks said. “Then we want to win the East division, and then we want to win the MAC championship.”

The team will begin their season on Sept. 2 on the road against the Michigan State Spartans.